Watchguard Firewall X750e running pfsense

After many trusted years of service, my original pfsense firewall died (Watchguard X700).   So it was off to ebay to buy a newer model the X750e – faster processor, more RAM.  £40 later on ebay I have myself a large red box!

For those who don’t know pfsense is a damn good open source firewall.   It’s based upon FreeBSD and the firewall software runs particularly well, with a little tweaking, on old Watchguard boxes.  These boxes have a 1.3Ghz celeron processor, 6 x 1Gb NICS, 512Mb RAM.  More than ample for running a firewall.  Get two and you can set one up for automatic-failover!

So if you want a firewall that is industrial grade and want to protect your home a little better than a typical ADSL type firewall, or just want to learn more about one of these babies, then head over to ebay and grab one for a bargain.

To get one working here are the high level steps that I’ve found to work

  1. Flash the BIOS with the original CF card so that you can use large CF cards on the box.
  2. Flash a 4Gb CF card with the latest version of pfsense
  3. Sort out the DMA issue caused by the latest version of pfsense
  4. Install WGXepc so you can control the speed of the howling banshees (aka cooling fans)
  5. Install LCDProc
  6. Configure your firewall for your personal tastes

Good starting point: